I think they are pretty logical, and I'm hoping Detroit stick to this plan.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Nerlens Noel. I'm not buying into the Alex Len rumors just yet, but I do believe the Cavs are shopping this pick. It has been awhile since such a lack of excitement surrounded the No. 1 selection, which is probably fueling the fire behind the Len buzz. Noel was considered the consensus pick a week ago for a reason and, in the end, should be first off the board.
Orlando Magic - Victor Oladipo. While the Magic have some nice young pieces, none of them really project as imposing offensive threats. Ben McLemore also makes some sense here, but Oladipo is more likely to turn into the alpha dog that this roster so desperately needs. If the Magic trade out of this spot, they could look to land a point guard.
Washington Wizards - Otto Porter. This fit seems too good to be true for the Wizards. In Porter, Washington gets a long and versatile wing. With John Wall and Bradley Beallocked in at the guard spots for the foreseeable future, the former Hoya won't be under pressure to score right away, which should help him contribute right away in a city he knows well.
Charlotte Bobcats - Alex Len. It's quite simple. Len has what the Bobcats need most: Talent. When you finish with a 21-61 record a year after going 7-59, you don't have any needs. Because everything is a need. A primary scorer would be nice to pick up here, but again, Charlotte can't afford to do anything but take the best player on the board. Len is exactly that if he's available at No. 4.
Phoenix Suns - Anthony Bennett. If you take a peek at the Suns depth chart, you'll notice there is something missing; a power forward. That makes Bennett the perfect blend of fit and value at No. 5 for the Suns, who are desperate to develop some type of identity. While he won't help a middling Phoenix defense, Bennett has the offensive skills to lead the Suns in scoring down the line. McLemore is also an option here.
New Orleans Pelicans - Ben McLemore. McLemore is slipping down some draft boards due to a number of unimpressive workouts. With Eric Gordon a candidate to be moved (or injured), the talented guard from Kansas could bring similar outside shooting prowess to New Orleans, as well as the tools to turn into an above-average NBA defender.
Sacramento Kings - Michael Carter-Williams. On a team overstocked with shoot-first guys, the play-making and unselfishness of Carter-Williams seems like a logical fit. The Kings supposedly love UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad - not surprising considering their recent draft history - but with new ownership, I'm betting they go in a different direction.
Detroit Pistons - Trey Burke. In what is becoming a yearly occurrence, the Pistons get another draft day steal late in the top ten with Burke, the NCAA's Player of the Year. Detroit needs a floor general to run its offense, and Burke allows Brandon Knight to slide to the two while also providing leadership and attitude to a young core that needs it. The fact that he went to Michigan is icing on the cake.
Minnesota Timberwolves - C.J. McCollum. No team in the NBA shot worse from behind the arc than the T-Wolves last year, making McCollum a no-brainer at No. 9. For all his faults - lack of size and speed, weak competition, uncertainty surrounding which guard spot he will play - the emergence of Stephen Curry as a legitimate superstar did nothing but help McCollum's draft stock. Most draftniks have Kentavious Caldwell-Pope penciled in here, but McCollum is the better prospect.
Portland Trail Blazers - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Blazers starting five played more minutes than any other group last year, making depth the team's primary need. That gives Portland a bevy of options here, but perimeter shooting still figures to be the priority and Caldwell-Pope provides that in spades (as does McCollum if he's available). Portland also needs to beef up inside, making any of the centers projected in the teens a possibility too.
- Philadelphia 76ers - Cody Zeller. Zeller seems to be the consensus pick for Philly here, and for good reason. He fits their need for size, can contribute almost right away and can play alongside Andrew Bynum in the unlikely scenario Bynum is brought back. I think Lucas Nogueira is a sleeper here too, considering new GM Sam Hinkie's affinity for the international market. The 76ers have picks 35 and 42 to add a shooter.
- Oklahoma City Thunder - Steven Adams. As usual, the Thunder are in a great position with picks 12, 29 and 32. And as usual, that affords them the luxury to draft for the long term. Pitt's Adams fits that plan, as a talented center that has major upside. Any of the more polished centers - Dieng, Olynyk, Plumlee - fit too, but I'd be shocked if OKC drafted for the present.
- Dallas Mavericks - Sergey Karasev. So we know there is a very good chance that the Mavs move this pick in their never-ending quest to land a superstar free agent. If they don't trade it, they'll likely take an international prospect who can be stashed overseas without counting against their cap. Karasev fits the bill there, as did Dario Saric before he withdrew from the draft.
- Utah Jazz - Mason Plumlee. The Jazz want a point guard and a have two picks in the first round to land one. They have been linked to Shane Larkin and Dennis Schroeder, but with only the Bucks also needing a point guard before 21, Utah will likely add to its impressive group of young bigs here with the NBA-ready Plumlee. Nogueira is a possibility as well.
- Milwaukee Bucks - Dennis Schroeder. With Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellishitting the open market, the Bucks need to shore up their backcourt. This pick should hinge on what the Jazz do at 14. While Larkin is the safer selection, Milwaukee has a history of swinging for the fences in the draft and that will continue with 19-year-old Schroeder, who has two years of pro ball in Germany under his belt. Don't be surprised if Isaiah Canaan's name starts to get play somewhere around here.
- Boston Celtics - Shabazz Muhammad. Should Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett land in Los Angeles, it would send the Celtics directly into rebuilding mode. There is a chance someone gambles on the enigmatic Muhammad before this pick, but if not, the risk is worth the potential reward here for the C's. Muhammad has the talent to become an impact scorer.
- Atlanta Hawks - Giannis Antetokounmpo. With back-to-back picks and a roster totally dependent on what happens in free agency, the Hawks should roll the dice on the "Greek Freak" at 17 or 18. Antetokounmpo, ultra-talented with a gigantic ceiling, is only 18 and has wowed scouts at several workouts, even drawing some guarded Kevin Durantcomparisons.
- Atlanta Hawks - Jamaal Franklin. I am shocked that many draftniks have Franklin falling into the 20s. I don't see a promising wing on the Hawks roster and I don't see a better prospect, other than maybe Larkin, on the board here. If the Hawks can, in fact, lure a star or two to town, Franklin makes even more sense as a NBA-ready contributor who stands an excellent chance of developing into a good role player. Former Aztec Kawhi Leonard's success with the Spurs can only help Franklin's stock.
- Cleveland Cavaliers - Reggie Bullock. After taking Noel at No. 1, Cleveland will be looking for a shooter to pair with Dion Waiters on the wing. Bullock shot over 43% from deep for the Tar Heels last year and at 21 years old, is ready to help the emerging Cavs now. Watch out for Cal's Allen Crabbe here too.
- Chicago Bulls - Tim Hardaway Jr. Even with Jimmy Butler blossoming in the absence ofDerrick Rose, the Bulls are still tasked with adding some offensive firepower to go with Tom Thibodeau's trademark defense. Hardaway Jr. gives them a polished scoring threat who can create his own shot or help find one for a teammate. Rose's injury makes a young point guard a logical pick here as well.
- Utah Jazz - Shane Larkin. The Jazz will be thrilled if this scenario plays out next Thursday, as Larkin solves their point guard problem as a creator and shot-maker. Larkin captained a veteran Miami squad as a sophomore, showing leadership abilities that could prove valuable on a young and impressionable Jazz team. If Utah snags a point guard at 14, this pick will likely be a big. The Jazz have kicked the tires on Nogueira.
- Brooklyn Nets - Gorgui Dieng. While Brooklyn already does a decent job with rebounding and shot blocking, Dieng makes too much sense here for a team trying to win now. He won't contribute much on offense, but the Louisville star is 23 and should help on defense next year. He can clean the glass and alter shots in the lane, and would appear to fit with Brook Lopez. The fact that he's a good passer for a big is a bonus.
- Indiana Pacers - Lucas Nogueira. At 23, the Pacers can't let the tumbling Nogueira fall any farther. The 20-year-old Brazilian, longer than most seven-footers, is agile and athletic. He is ready to block shots in the NBA now, but landing on a good team like Indiana is probably best for him, because the rest of his game isn't ready. Roy Hibbert isn't a bad guy to learn from either.
- New York Knicks - Tony Mitchell. The word is that the Knicks are infatuated with Mitchell, who had a semi-disappointing season for North Texas after a stellar freshman campaign. Mitchell is a very explosive jumper that would give the Knicks' frontcourt an element of athleticism it has lacked of late. He is a great rebounder and his vertical leap allows him to block shots better than most guys his height.
- Los Angeles Clippers - Ricky Ledo. This pick could end up in Boston, but if it doesn't, expect L.A. to target a shot-making wing. Ledo is climbing draft boards after workouts and bringing him under the wing of Chris Paul could do wonders to alleviate his off-the-court concerns. Ledo is the type of talent who could be in the mix 10 picks higher by next Thursday.
- Minnesota Timberwolves - Kelly Olynyk. With McCollum in tow at No. 9, the Wolves' shooting woes should be solved, so they'll likely target frontcourt depth here. Rudy Gobertseems to fit, but this team has the pieces to contend soon, making Olynyk the more suitable choice. The Zags big man has the polish to produce on offense next season, and may even help Minnesota's perimeter game eventually.
- Denver Nuggets - Tony Snell. Andre Iguodala is officially a free agent. What better way to replace him than with Snell, who owns a similar skill set and can also shoot. At a long 6'7", Snell possesses athleticism and defensive prowess. While he wasn't a great college player, his NBA tools have forced teams to take notice. His stock is on the rise.
- San Antonio Spurs - Isaiah Canaan. Retaining Gary Neal beyond next year is getting more expensive with every playoff game. Canaan would be super value here for the Spurs, who seem like they nab an underrated, advanced college player like this every year. As mentioned above, Canaan is getting some looks in the middle of the first, but he fits better with a more established team.
- Oklahoma City Thunder - Allen Crabbe. The Thunder also have the 32nd pick and it is likely that they will use either that pick or this one on an international draft-and-stash. I have them taking Adams as a project of sorts at No. 12, so Crabbe fits well in OKC here as a replacement for Kevin Martin, should he leave. Crabbe isn't a great athlete, but you don't need to be if you're in a backcourt with Russell Westbrook. Otherwise, the Cal guard does have a pretty complete offensive game.
- Phoenix Suns - Glen Rice Jr. The Suns have a logjam of mediocrity at the small forward position, but none of those guys look like the long term answer in Phoenix. After taking Bennett at No. 5, the Suns could add a tough, versatile wing to that mix by opting for Rice. The 22-year-old is NBA-ready after dominating the D-League last season, and would also provide Phoenix with a much-needed plus defender.